In a Shallow Grave PDF/EPUB ☆ In a ePUB ✓

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In a Shallow Grave This is a novel that demands discussion There is so much going on so much symbolism I certainly have not figured everything out It's a psychological drama about life and death love beauty Read it This video from the movie will give you a good idea of the feelings you'll have reading this strange book It's not at all what I expected from reading other reviews I expected pretension I love me some pretension and lots of wordy words What I got instead was genuine Southern dialogue used to tell a story I have yet to make real sense of I was just mesmerized by this little ditty Highly recommended A soldier named Garnet Montrose returns home to coastal Virginia bearing a grotesue injury which is nauseatingly repellent to anyone who sees him He hires two young male caretakers uintus Pearch and Potter Daventry who look after his disability They also act as a go between with Garnet's childhood sweetheart now the widow Georgina Rance delivering her messages in a desperate attempt to restart their interrupted relationshipWith vivid Gothic imagery and drama Purdy explores the varieties of love and the powerful transformations it can make in anyone's life Readers will not soon forget Garnet uintus and Daventry for the genuine human love that they share—and reject—and how they discover their way in the world Five on a scale of five No 13 on a scale of 10 Imagine the combined spirits of Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor on LSD channeling Rimbaud and Kafka who are trying to outdo each other paragraph by paragraph chapter by chapter like jazz musicians trading eights This is the book they would write Layers and layers with surprise after surprise every idea and action is ualified or contradicted then contradicted again and that contradiction is ualified and it's all perfect and spectacular What a wild ride I've never read anything like it This book was like nothing I've read before It's character driven centered around a disfigured soldier and his two hired servants who form an intense codependency on one another There's romance but it's not romantic There's grotesue body horror stuff but I wouldn't call it horror There's supernatural stuff but it could also just be a series of coincidences It's Southern Gothic at it's bestIt's also racist in a way that goes beyond what could've been brushed off as acceptable in the 1970's American South It's the main reason why I can't give this 5 stars and still feel guilty about giving it 4 stars But it could be used as a jumping off point to have some great conversations in a book club or academic settingThere's so much good stuff here that I've picked up one of the author's other books and plan to read it soon This is the perfect book for anyone looking to discover or explore the works of James Purdy In only 140 pages he displays the elements and characteristics of his highly literary writing a mysterious Southern Gothic style an unconventional narration which stimulates thought dramatic turns of plot suggesting the supernaturaland a touch of violence If you've read William Faulkner andor Cormac McCarthy you will sense a resemblance while also feeling eerily discomfited in the comparison as Purdy exposes alternate human truths never offered by those authorsPerhaps after reading this moving work like me and many many others you will wonder why Purdy's numerous novels are virtually unknown to readers This fact is one of the greater literary injustices which can be explained as having to do with the steady longterm decline of American culture and the hypocrisy embedded within it How interesting then that Purdy himself exposes that very culture to us in his works—and we surely don't want to see itNB The book was also made into a 1988 movie with the same name It changes the book's message the ending was made conventional Garnett Montrose a horribly disfigured war hero hiring a caregiver to deliver messages and massage his aching scars Not an easy task Until a servant and an applicant settle in and become than just hired hands Dancing alone under the globe unlikely angels and mulberry wine scar tissue I’m not entirely sure why I liked this one as much as I did but it was a really great read and kept me engaged from the very beginning Some great characterizations here and written very well spooky mysterious intense surreal southern gothic like if flannery o’connor wrote the book of revelations The little blurbs on the back cover make it sound like the feel good book of the year but this is so much freakier than that Unsure whilst reading and now unsure coming out Purdy did his utmost to set me in a world which I can't place or at least I can't place the time His use of language with that mix of old southern boy and the current slips which leave me confused as to when I am It's surreal alright But at the same time amidst all this misty feel of not know exactly where when and what's happening the feelings the emotional tags ring outWell our hero Garnet has paid his price to society for being part of it by 'defending' his country and the resulting conseuences Does this mean that now he can take free breaths live free love without constraints be seen But wouldn't doing so be lonely it would mean he must forge a path all on his lonesome Doesn't society exact a price from all of us Daventry too So was this a love story a tragedy comedy at it's darkest tricky just like the storyIt's like we are puppets pulled here and there pulled by the flow just like good little puppets being 'good' and sometimes we find ourselves in a strange position which we like were we can breath and be 'seen' even though to the outside we appear all lopsided and strange But then a slight shift again and we loose that position and for the life of us we can't get that position back Do I know really know what I just read Probably not but I'm super happy I did Of course I'm blaming this on Nick And by blame I mean thank you The best way to experience this tale and yes it is an experience is to inhale it in one go let it subsume you and float in James Purdy's mesmerizing language For extra effect I also chose to read it out loud To my cat She was lulled to sleep The bones of the story are whatever the blurb says a soldier Garnet Montrose comes back horribly disfigured from the war in Vietnam and due to his physical ailments and ghastly appearance decides to hire a man his aspect is too horrifying for a woman to tend to his needs and deliver love notes to a local widow The applicants who end up taking the job don't exactly come through the regular channels or are what Garnet expected One is uintus Powell an 18 yo who comes to offer some goats that his momma no longer wants and Potter Daventry who just materializes one day in the forrest surrounding Garnet's house The two split the work of caring for Garnet's physical and metaphysical needs grounding him in the here and now while releasing his mindTo say any would be a crime and tell you nothing of what this is about In spite of the very specific time setting this is a tale that could be taking place in the 1800's It very much had that southern gothic Faulkner or O'Connor feel where The past is never dead It's not even past That unresolved or unhealed wound that was the Civil War is barely scabbed over There is a decidedly ueer twist and there is love between the men in the story each of a different stripe but this is definitely not a love story Or maybe it is To me it was a tale of identity transformation and becoming At one point Garnet who narrates the story is talking about the nicknames he had in the army and then says But now I am home I want only my own names used but actually nobody calls me anything because nobody can see me to call me you might say I am vague than the fog and not even it seems to me as palpable as night To be seen To be known